After 10 difficult and not to mention, painful days of racing at this year’s Tour de France, Garmin-Sharp looked to bounce back on the first stage after the rest day. At the start of stage 10 in Maçon the riders were clearly in good spirits, with Dave Zabriskie providing the waiting media with a dance outside the team bus and David Millar saying he would aim for the day’s break.
Charley Wegelius had been drafted in for DS duties and was putting together a plan for action, a strategy that paid off when Millar and Zabriskie joined together in the early 24-man break.
"I wanted to go in the break today just to get my head back into racing," Millar told Cyclingnews at the finish.
However with the Col du Grand Colombier both Garmin riders became unstuck, with a number of stronger climbers advancing towards the finish.
"Once the break secured itself, Zabriskie came up to me and asked ‘do you think you can beat Sagan in the sprint and I just looked at him and said 'do you think you can out climb Scarponi?' We knew it wasn’t going to happen."
Garmin came into the race with the clear ambitions of supporting Ryder Hesjedal attempt a rare Giro and Tour de France double, as well as offering Tyler Farrar a leadout in the sprints. However, with Hesjedal out through a crash and Farrar nursing injuries after several crashes the team have needed to refocus their efforts.
"I don’t think we’re on the back foot I just think we’ve had to change our objectives," added Millar.
"That’s not easy when we had such a clearly defined goal but I think we can do it. We’ve got the riders. It’s an opportunity that we don’t normally have within our team because normally we’re fixed on team goals so it does take a bit of a mentality shift but it shows that we’re doing that. We’re in the breaks and we’ll keep doing that."
Wiggins is clean
Millar also added that he sympathises with Bradley Wiggins (Sky) after the Tour leader was asked to defend himself during this year’s Tour after suspicions over his achievements on the road. The speculation shot to life on Twitter and Wiggins reacted angrily at his press conference in Porrentruy. He later gave a more measured response after stage 10.
"I can empathise with him. We’re in different positions I think, me being an ex-doper it’s a bit easier for me to take the thought and the analytical response out but for Brad it’s a very emotional thing. He’s a clean athlete and when people accuse him of being doped obviously he’s going to react very emotionally. I can understand it."